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Measuring Knowledge Spillovers: What Patents, Licenses and Publications Reveal About Innovation Diffusion

40 Pages Posted: 7 May 2010  

Andrew J. Nelson

University of Oregon

Date Written: June 1, 2009

Abstract

Measurement of knowledge spillovers remains an important challenge. While patent citation analyses are one common empirical approach, questions persist about their efficacy and potential biases. In an effort to assess various measures of knowledge diffusion, this paper compares patent data surrounding recombinant DNA technology to licenses and publications building on the same technology. Evaluation of these measures highlights errors of both omission and over-representation in each measure, and reveals potential biases tied to organizational age and location. The results suggest that studies of knowledge diffusion can be strengthened dramatically by drawing upon multiple indicators.

Keywords: Patents, licenses, publications, innovation diffusion, knowledge spillovers

JEL Classification: L3, L65, M13, O3, O32, O34, O47

Suggested Citation

Nelson, Andrew J., Measuring Knowledge Spillovers: What Patents, Licenses and Publications Reveal About Innovation Diffusion (June 1, 2009). Research Policy, Vol. 38, No. 6, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1598495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1598495

Andrew J. Nelson (Contact Author)

University of Oregon ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403-1208
United States

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